Industry tours, more than a dozen educational sessions and the young farmer discussion meet will be among the featured activities at the Iowa Farm Bureau’s 2017 Young Farmer Conference Jan. 27-28 in Des Moines.

More than 500 young farmers are expected at the annual conference, held at the Holiday Inn Airport. Registrations are due Jan. 13.

The conference, themed “Live to Farm, Farm to Live,” begins with industry tours on Friday afternoon, Jan. 27. Participants can choose to tour the Bridgestone Des Moines tire plant, Des Moines Water Works, Hawkeye Breeders Service, John Deere Des Moines plant, Market to Market live studio or the Ziegler CAT Altoona plant.

IFBF President Craig Hill and Young Farmer Chair Jacob Handsaker will welcome attendees at a dinner at 6 p.m., followed by keynote speaker Walter Bond, an ex-NBA player who will share strategies for success.

The evening will conclude with district social gatherings and networking.

Educational sessions

On Saturday morning, participants have a choice of more than 14 educational breakout sessions covering economics, crop and livestock production, marketing, conservation, big data and Farm Bureau policy development. Attendees will also participate in a legacy planning session to guide Farm Bureau’s efforts to help farmers build a successful future in agriculture.

Educational seminars will continue after lunch, followed by the Young Farmer Discussion Meet, where contestants will discuss critical issues while building their communication skills and exploring how to pool knowledge to solve problems.

Additional educational seminars on Saturday afternoon cover how to make yourself “banker ready” before seeking farm loans and F.A.R.M. (Farmer Advocates Reaching Main Street) Team communications training.

After dinner, the conference will wrap up with comedian and magician Lyndy Phillips, casino games and other family fun. Child care will be available on-site Friday evening and Saturday.

More information is available here. Contact your county Farm Bureau office to register.